Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hiking with a toddler and a newborn!

First I have to say Happy 3 month birthday to my youngest Julia! Time is already flying by so fast and I could not imagine life without her.

To celebrate we decided to go on our first family hike since she was born. I have to be honest though... it is also a celebration of the fact that I think I am recovered enough from child bearing and child birth to do the hike that involves a lot of incline. 

Preamble: We hiked earlier after we had Etta. The major difference this time is that I could not just worry about myself. I had to carry Julia up the mountain because Cam would be carrying Etta. Although Julia is not her 27 lb sister she is already about 15 lbs!!! 

Anyways we decide to tell Etta that we were going to the mountains for a hike about an hour before we had to leave. Big mistake... While I love that she was super pumped and running around the house screaming 'yay mountains', we then had to listen to her whine 'I want to go hike in the mountains' for the hour while we got ready to go. To top it off she saw the hiking carrier and she started screaming that she wanted to go in their NOW!!! Try teaching patience to a determined and independent toddler. Impossible.

Finally after getting organized, we drive the 45 minutes to Cabin lake which is on the way to Eagles bluff on Cypress mountain in North Vancouver. Julia slept the whole 45 minutes. Etta continually repeated that she wanted to get out of the car and go hiking ...... For the whole 45 minutes. Again try teaching a toddler patience. Impossible.

When we got to the mountain Julia woke up so I had to feed her. She was being fussy and I started to think that this hike was a bad idea. I was beginning to lose MY patience. Then we started to hike. That is when it became magical! Julia fell asleep and Etta loved the carrier again. She has been wanting to walk herself these days but since Julia was in a carrier she wanted to be in the carrier too. 

The hike was a gruelling uphill for about 45 minutes up. Etta and Cam talked about the mountains and the trees. It was like she was taking in the outdoors in a way she never had before. She was aware at how amazing it all was. 

I... Who was carrying Julia... Trudged up the hill slowly but surely. My motivation through the exhaustion? Both kids were having a great time. I was breathless but loving exercising and enjoying nature without any whining or crying. It was as if I had won the lottery. My face was beat red, my heart rate was 180 bpm and I was loving it!

Once at our destination we all had lunch, including Julia. Cam and Etta went for a swim in the ice cold water while I played with Julia in the shade.

 We hung around for about 45 minutes just enjoying and exploring the natural surroundings. It felt so great to be back in the mountains. 

When it was time to go we changed the girls diapers, packed up our things and made the trek down the mountain. Julia and Etta immediately fell asleep which was awesome. I was exhausted from exerting myself but new it was all downhill from there.

 Until... After 10 minutes of downhill there was a steep incline. We did not notice going downhill on the way up and I always notice a nice downhill after a long climb. We realized we went the wrong way and would have to climb back up to find the correct trail.

I was exhausted and started to complain.  I was getting stressed that our good luck with the kids on the trail would end. After mustering up some energy we turned around and trekked back uphill. After 20 minutes of uphill climbing we were back on track hiking down to the parking lot. 'Crisis' diverted and my legs were still functioning. 

Once at the parking lot Etta and Julia woke up. I decided to wait to feed Julia because Etta was happy. We immediately packed the girls in the car and drove home. 

About 20 minutes into the drive home Julia started to cry. We decided to divert off the Lions Gate bridge and head to Prospect Point in Stanley Park to feed Julia. We enjoyed an incredible view of Vancouver, grabbed some fries, birch beer and I fed Julia. After an hour enjoying Stanley Park, we drove the 25 minutes home in a cry free/whine free car. It truly turned out to be a successful day outdoors hiking in the mountains and enjoying Vancouver.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

VW Camper Van

We took the plunge! We bought a VW camper van and have officially joined the Westy club. I could not be happier. 

My family had a camper van up until I was about 3 years old. I am the youngest and I have a brother 6 years older and a sister 4 years older.
My sister squeezing my face while my brother is chillin' in his camping chair.
 They used to sleep in the Pop top and I used to sleep in a hammock at the front of the van. I cannot remember the name but it was an air cooled orange VW camper with a pop top. Unfortunately my parents house had a fire a few years ago and finding a solid picture of the van is very difficult.

My sister Krista and I in the Camper van!

Etta and Cam in the pop top.

Julia in the campervan having a nap.

The adventures ended in that van when the door was so rusted that it fell off. I think my parents were fed up and sold the van for parts. Even though the van at times stretched their patience they were sad to see it go. They still talk about those glorious camping days in the dub. 

My dad, brother, sister and I after a hike in the rockies.

Anyways, since then I have always dreamed of owning my own westy with my family. With two kids and a husband that loves camping we thought it was prime time to join the westy family.

My sister and I hanging out on the camping chairs.

am so excited for more camping trips to come. I hope my girls continue to enjoy the experience of the outdoors each year whether in the van or a tent. Let the adventure continue!!!

Our family embarking on our own VW adventures.